You are six steps away from your goal

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You are six steps away from your goal. So am I. So is everyone.  Regardless of our circumstances, career paths, or past accomplishments, we are all six steps away. But here’s the kicker: We can never see more than one step ahead.

It goes like this. Whatever you’re doing right now, let’s call it Step 1. And you’re desperate to know where Step 6 is, because that’s your goal. You think that Step 6 is ultimate happiness — the end of the path, the big payoff, the place of glory! But…where is it? You can’t see it. Is it over there, to your left? A little to your right? You don’t know. And so you might feel frozen at Step 1, fearful that your next move could be the wrong one — that it could move you away from Step 6.But look closer: You actually can see something ahead. You can see one step ahead. That’s all you get; you can see Step 2. And is Step 2 amazing and perfect and satisfying? Nah. Maybe it’s an entry-level job, or a better-­but-not-perfect job, or a minimum viable product you could put out into the world, or the launch of a company you don’t know will succeed, or whatever. It doesn’t matter. It’s just Step 2 — it’s not supposed to be perfect.

So you take Step 2. And you learn from Step 2. You discover more about yourself and your path and what you want and what you love. And then, lo and behold, you can see one step ahead again! Now you see Step 3! You couldn’t have seen Step 3 back at Step 1, but you see it now because you’d moved to Step 2.

So you take the next step. And you repeat. And if you keep going, you’ll eventually reach Step 6 and discover that Step 6 isn’t actually the ultimate goal anyway — because there is no ultimate goal. That’s why Jeff Bezos didn’t declare victory when Amazon became the world’s biggest company, or why Oprah wasn’t content hosting a hit daytime talk show. As we progress, new achievements seem possible. New goals take shape. Step 6, it turns out, is actually just the beginning of a new path.

This is how we move. This is how we succeed. We do it one step at a time — learning and growing along the way, sure of nothing except the power of progress. Don’t know what direction to go in? Just pick one. Do it. Step. Move. Right now. You’ll learn so much, including which step to take next. –Jason Feifer


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